More than 200 children who were separated from their parents at the border are still in custody, according to new numbers released by the government Friday.
Attorneys for the government told San Diego Judge Dana Sabraw last week they have contact information for every parent who has been deported. They haven’t been in touch with 67 parents, but attorneys said they are optimistic they will be able to get ahold of them.
Sabraw also endorsed the recent settlement that gives parents who were separated from their children a second chance at applying for asylum. He also said progress made on the reunification process is encouraging.
Attorneys from the ACLU, however, say the kids are traumatized and they’re concerned about permanent damage. Activists agree that the government has to move faster.
“There is no doubt that every day that goes by these children are suffering tremendously, especially those that are still under the age of five,” said Benjamin Prado of the American Friends Service Committee, an organization that advocates for immigrant rights. Prado says they are skeptical of the settlement.
“We want to see first what it looks like in writing because if they are allowed to come that's a good signal of doing the reunification of families where the separation took place,” he said. “That's very important.”
Judge Sabraw is expected to sign off on the asylum settlement next week.